STAFF: All of the staff were fantastic and very accommodating. One of the concierges, GILBERT, was especially helpful and kind to us. He happened to ride the hotel shuttle into Coco Beach with us and he visited with us on the ride. We saw him again in the town market with his children and he stopped to say hi and introduce us. How many hotel staff have you met that are that friendly and considerate?
ROOM: We stayed at the main hotel, which was very convenient to everything there and also had a fabulous balcony view of the ocean and beach. The room would have been near perfect if only we could have moved some air somehow; we asked for a fan but they didn't have any. The AC in the room doesn't "blow"...it just slowly dribbles a little cool air out. The restaurants and most of the public spaces are open air. Fortunately most of them have ceiling fans and there is usually a breeze blowing. The ice maker was broken so we tipped the bartender to give us ice for our room. We didn't have any trouble at all getting a reservation for the Helliconias restaurant.
TO DO: The beach has black sand and a mild surf. The water temperature was cooler than the Gulf of Mexico and was perfect for just bobbing in the waves. If you want to relax, so to the hotel's Paradise Spa for a "Paradise Massage" which is a medium intensity massage, in between a Swedish and a Deep Tissue massage (both also offered).
FOOD: The daily 3 free meals at the Bahia restaurant were nutritious and clean. Costa Rica is famous for recycling and you could definitely see that in their food. For example, black beans and hard boiled eggs left over from breakfast and the previous evening's supper showed up in the next day's black bean soup. One thing most Americans may miss is good old fashioned cheese. They only have queso fresco and it's so bland I thought it was tofu the first two days! No cheddar, no swiss, no American, no "normal" cheese at any time. Otherwise the bland, fresh food actually reminded me a bit of New England food. We never got an edible dessert anywhere while in Costa Rica...so strange...somebody needs to show those poor people how to make a brownie or a chocolate chip cookie! All the desserts were mealy and kind of mushy, whether it was cake or some sort of pudding or gel and they all had nutmeg and cinnamon or allspice...again, just like New England.
THE TIMESHARE PITCH: Our all-inclusive stay required us to attend a 90 minute timeshare presentation. Our salesman, Gil, was very friendly and did a wonderful job of explaining the different opportunities. Even though we didn't buy anything, we saw him later at the restaurant and he was friendly and happy to see us. Yes, of course they'd like for you to buy a timeshare...that's why they paid for your stay...but our timeshare presentation was still enjoyable, and we asked so many questions, we caused it to last beyond the required time. Gil even told us a lot about Costa Rica that we found very interesting and educational.
OVERALL: this was a very nice place to visit for a quiet few days. Without a car, your options are pretty limited though and we were getting cabin fever by the end of 3 days. You have to pay dearly for any transport outside of the resort...$60 to go into Liberia if you want to shop. Only $10 for the shuttle to the tourist traps at Coco Beach, but expect to pay about $20 for a cheap tee shirt there. Excursions begin at around $90 per person.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a development of 100% Costa Rican capital located on Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste on the northern Pacific Coast and managed by Promotora La Costa, a pioneer company in tourism development in Guanacaste. We are a 4-star resort, and have a Tourism Sustainability Certification (CST) of the Costa Rican Tourism Institute (ICT) and we are affiliated with Resort Condominium International RCI, being the only resort in Central America included in the Gold Crown category granted by this company. We work under an all-inclusive service in 54 deluxe hotel rooms and 109 fully equipped villas of 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms. With unbeatable view of Papagayo Gulf. Among many alternatives for entertainment and sports offered by Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort, you’ll find a wide variety of activities for all ages - water sports (motorized & non motorized), sport fishing, diving, kayak & jet ski as well as many one day tours that will take you to the many national parks and hide-away beaches in the area surrounding our resort. Our great location makes not only our resort a great destination but also offers a convenient closeness to all major tours and activities taking place in the Guanacaste area and surroundings. Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort is a place for all ages and types of vacationer. A great choice for families traveling with children, single travelers, honeymooners, people looking for a relaxing vacation or those looking for fun and excitement. Our friendly, helpful staff welcome all guests with a “PURA VIDA” and a smile & the best service. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Villas Sol Hotel And Beach Resort
- Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Playa Hermosa
- Hotel Sol Beach
- Sol Hotel Playa Hermosa
- Playa Hermosa Sol Hotel
- Villas Sol Hotel & Beach Resort Costa Rica/Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste